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Sculptor's poppy hunt and auction raise nearly £3,000 for Royal British Legion

Michael Turner made 22 poppies for this year's Royal British Legion fundraiser
Michael Turner made 22 poppies for this year's Royal British Legion fundraiser

ART lovers helped raise almost £3,000 for the Royal British Legion after taking part in a community-wide treasure hunt.

The two-part fundraising event, which also included an auction of 11 stainless steel poppies, was organised by Lymington stainless steel sculptor Michael Turner to raise awareness of Remembrance Sunday.

As reported in last week’s A&T, the internationally acclaimed artist created a collection of 21 red poppies and one purple to signify animal casualties during the war. He hid the first 11 around the New Forest before posting clues on his Instagram and Facebook pages.

Michael said: “This year’s poppy hunt was incredible. The weather was perfect and I took the day off work to hide them.

“We ask anyone who finds one of the poppies to make a donation to the Royal British Legion – and this year the recipients donated around £600.”

Michael was particularly touched by one mother and daughter who messaged him to say they had been taking part in the hunt for several years and were thrilled finally to find a poppy.

He said: “The little girl said she would donate her pocket money for the next two weeks which was a really lovely gesture.”

Michael invited those who were unsuccessful in finding one to submit their bids for a chance to win a further 11 poppies.

He said: “I had no idea how it would go but in the end we had around 80 bids, with some incredibly generous offers. The highest bid was £300 which was an absolutely amazing amount.”

Altogether bids on the 11 auctioned poppies totalled £2,234 and a further £600 was raised from donations.

Michael organised the first poppy hunt in 2015 after taking inspiration from the sea of poppies at the Tower of London, and as a tribute to his two grandfathers who fought in the Second World War.

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